Founded in 2020, the National Museum of Military Vehicles showcases the world’s largest private collection of US military vehicles with a mission “to honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans and their families.” To build upon this mission and the unprecedented collection of military vehicles, Roto thrust visitors into a series of powerful historic scenes that completely immerse the senses.
A winding trail cuts through a perilous nighttime jungle; thousands of hand-sculpted bamboo shoots combine with an elaborate projection-mapped moonlight environment to create an eerie setting where booby traps and lurking guerrilla forces emerge from the darkness. Elsewhere, a US Firebase—dominated by a faithfully restored m109 155mm Howitzer—sits at the edge of enemy territory, where distant battles and helicopter operations are depicted on an elaborate animated mural. And the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, depicted as a frozen mountain looming above visitors, showcases a series of cast figures that reflect the human emotion of this tragic conflict.
While the majority of the over 300 props were sourced directly from veterans, collectors, and surplus shops – including ‘spike protective’ jungle boots, Psy-Ops air-dropped leaflets, and a 1960’s Zenith television console – Roto replicated a variety of items that could not be acquired directly. These items included a rare Chinese Communist grenade, a US military trip flare, an air-deployed motion sensor, Agent Orange barrels, and over 100 ammunition crates. This is not meant to be a passive experience. It’s both exploratory and cinematic in its existence.